Telephony services specialist InPhonex and calling services company Ringio announced a partnership to provide small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) with access to private branch exchange (PBX) features and functionality. Both companies introduced the service, Ringio On InPhonex (ROI), at IT Expo in Los Angeles earlier this week.
ROI incorporates features from Ringio, a cloud-based rich calling service, and InPhonex's telephony platform. Features include server-free advanced call center functions designed for SMB users, including personalized greetings, the ability to intelligently route and forward calls based on the caller's history and a learning knowledge base about callers and other advanced collaboration features, such as presence, notes and contact sharing.
"Unlike most hosted PBX providers, which take existing on-premise PBX platforms and move them to the cloud, Ringio was developed from the beginning as an intelligent, cloud-based PBX to address the unique needs of SMBs," said Ringio co-founder and chairman Michael Zirngibl. "Ringio On InPhonex builds upon that goal by giving SMB customers a single provider for their telephony, call center and PBX needs."
Other features include a mobile application, intelligent screen-pop capability, which presents CRM data in the context of calls, the ability to use existing soft phones and VoIP phones with Ringio, local number portability (LNP) in 15 countries, customized managed calling plans, including bulk calling, worldwide calling and personalized calling plans and a global telecommunications footprint that includes 75 countries.
Ringio On InPhonex has an average cost per user of about $40 per month for unlimited calling and an end-to-end solution. Now in beta release, a joint company statement said Ringio On InPhonex is expected to become generally available by the end of 2010. InPhonex is recruiting and selling ROI through channel partners, which can white-label the service and resell it to SMBs, while Ringio is selling the service directly to SMB customers. Other InPhonex offerings include multiple applications, services and utilities, such as VolP, hosted PBX, SIP trunking, product creation and provisioning.
"ROI is an attractive addition to the offerings we provide our thousands of value-added reseller partners," said InPhonex chief marketing officer Matt Bramson. "Not only does ROI enrich resellers' opportunity to target SMBs - the largest segment of the enterprise market - but it also gives them a set of features unlike any other in the market."
A Frost & Sullivan report predicted a solid future growth for SIP and VoIP technologies in its July "North American VoIP Access and SIP Trunking Services Markets" report, though it warns that stiff competition would drive down margins for service providers. The report predicts the market will continue to build on its "impressive, downturn-defying" 40.1 percent growth in user base and 22.3 percent growth in revenues in 2009, as enterprises look for cost-effective alternatives to their legacy time division multiplexing (TDM)-based communication infrastructure.
"The majority of the installed customer premises equipment is still TDM private branch exchange [PBX] and therefore, a large percentage of the installed services base requires the deployment of media gateways for protocol conversion, while only a small percentage is direct/native SIP trunks connecting to SIP-enabled IP telephony platforms," wrote Frost & Sullivan Program Director Elka Popova. "Going forward, that ratio is bound to change as customers increasingly replace their legacy systems with new, hybrid or pure IP telephony equipment."